Næss-Schmidt,Morthorst, Pedersen, Nielsen & Stubbs (2017) stated the study’spurpose clearly. The aim was to examine how excitable thecorticospinal pathways were to the tibialis anterior (TA) afterhigh-intensity BFRT. The article has a thorough literature review andthe appropriate citations. The authors have made use of numeroussources of information to ensure that the information provided isup-to-date and correct. Næss-Schmidt et al. (2017) did notdifferentiate the hypothesis, leaving the reader to assume that thefirst statement in the introduction is the hypothesis. The statementis that blood flow restriction training (BFRT) increases strength,muscle size, and endurance compared to non-BFRT training in the ankleand knee extensors after eight weeks of training.
Næss-Schmidtet al. (2017) outlined the method they used in sampling adequately.The sampling method used is the multistage method. The inclusion andexclusion criteria for experiment one is as follows: age 26- 42,height 1.71- 1.87 m, systolic BP 112- 124 mmHg, diastolic BP 60 –78 mmHg, and all 6:4 male to female ratio. For experiment 2, thecriteria were as follows: age 25 – 33 years, height 1.78 – 1.96m, systolic BP 111 – 125 mmHg, diastolic BP 61 – 73 mmHg, and allmales. All 20 subjects were right-handed. The demographiccharacteristics used are gender and age. The article’s authorsbelieved that the sample size best represented the population ofinterest because a prior study used ten subjects per experiment.
Theprimary data collection technique was the observation that wasachieved through recording the peak-to-peak amplitudespre-intervention and 1, 10, 20, and 30 minutes post-intervention, andexpressing them relative to the maximum peak-to-peak M-wave at everytime-point. The main data analyses performed included transforming,averaging, and back-transforming all MEP trials. They analystsexpressed the value obtained as a percentage of the averagepeak-to-peak amplitude of the 28 M-max trials at the same time andlog-transforming the resultant proportion value. Næss-Schmidt et al.(2017) used the linear mixed model involving fixed and randomfactors. The investigators stated all the results/significance levelsclearly in the results section and explained them in the discussionand conclusions part of the article. The high degree of detail indescribing the methods is sufficient for replicating the sameexperiment by another investigator. The study reported no adverseeffects. There is no evidence for any legal approval from the localscientific and ethics committee. Additionally, the researchers havenot mentioned anywhere in the paper that they followed ethicalstandards of the Helsinki Declaration.
Themain findings of the study were that for the TR-only, BFR-only, andBFRT-low interventions, all subjects succeeded in finishing the15-minute interventions. For the BFRT- high, they terminated theintervention early for three subjects, at 11, 11, and 10 minutes 30seconds respectively. The results are consistent with the study’shypothesis the subjects exposed to BFRT experienced a more intenseworkout, which would eventually lead to an increase in strength,endurance, and muscle size. The study had no unexpected findings, andthe authors of made sufficient reference to the literature theyreviewed, particularly in the discussion section. From a theoreticalperspective, the findings show that BFRT is helpful in maximizing theimpact of exercise. However, from a clinical viewpoint, one shouldnot start using high-BFRT training at once they should start withlower levels, and work their way up.
Thereport is clear and systematic throughout despite lacking somesections such as a clear statement of the hypothesis. The researchhas a significant contribution to the medical field. It shows analternative way to increase the intensity and ultimate results froman exercise. The main weakness of the study is an insufficiency oftest subjects per experiment, which made the study underpowered. If Iwere to conduct the study, I would use 15 subjects instead of 10 toovercome the challenge above. An interesting follow-up study would berecommended to monitor the subjects for an extended period. Thisresearch would determine the possible gains and demerits of BFRT, andits suitability as a long-term strategy.
Næss-Schmidt,E. T., Morthorst, M., Pedersen, A. R., Nielsen, J. F., & Stubbs,P. W. (2017). Corticospinal excitability changes following blood flowrestriction training of the tibialis anterior: a preliminarystudy. Heliyon, 3(1),e00217.